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SHAGGY, STING and DARIUS RUCKER will be the featured performers in the Super Bowl LII pregame festivities in Minneapolis, MN on Sunday, Feb. 4, the NFL announced today. The performances will take place at the NFL Tailgate Party and portions will be televised on the NBC Super Bowl LII Pregame Show.

Sting will be joined on stage by Shaggy for the broadcast debut of their new, Caribbean-flavored single, “Don’t Make Me Wait,” now available on all digital platforms. Also, as recently announced, Sting and Shaggy will release a new, collaborative island-influenced album, entitled 44/876, on April 20th that reflects their mutual love of Jamaica – its music, the spirit of its people and vibrancy of its culture.


During his celebrated career as a musician, singer-songwriter and actor, Sting has received 16 Grammy Awards, an Emmy, four Oscar nominations and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He was the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist for the new wave rock band, the Police, from 1977 to 1986 before becoming a solo artist in 1985. Throughout his illustrious career, Sting has sold close to 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist.


Multi Grammy award winning artist Shaggy is best known for his hit singles “Boombastic,” “It Wasn’t Me” & “Angel.” The Jamaican-born reggae fusion singer has released numerous albums including the Grammy winning, Platinum-selling “Boombastic” (1995) & the Diamond-selling “Hot Shot” (2000). Shaggy is also a social activist and philanthropist.

This will mark Sting’s third appearance at the Super Bowl.  He performed in the pregame show at Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 in Tampa, and two years later in San Diego, he teamed with Shania Twain and No Doubt in the Super Bowl XXXVII Halftime Show.


Like Sting, Darius Rucker also went his own way, breaking away from the Grammy award-winning group, Hootie & the Blowfish, to embark on a solo career as a country artist.  Since turning to country, Rucker has released four consecutive albums to top the Billboard Country albums chart.  In 2014, he won his third career Grammy award for Best Solo Country Performance for his 4-time Platinum selling cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” from his album, True Believers.


Rucker’s latest album, his fifth, When Was The Last Time, for Capitol Nashville features two hit singles—“If I Told You” and “For The First Time”.  “If I Told You” has become Rucker’s eighth No. 1 hit on country radio.


The NFL previously announced that JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show.  PINK will sing the National Anthem and LESLIE ODOM, JR. will perform “America the Beautiful”.  ALEXANDRIA WAILES will sign both songs. The pregame and halftime shows are an NFL NETWORK PRODUCTION and will be executive produced by RICKY KIRSHNER.

Usain Bolt Statue


The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, had said that “rain or shine, we will be unveiling the Usain Bolt statue” on Sunday, December 3. Without the rain the unveiling did occur on time

The Minister made the declaration on Wednesday after visiting the site on Statue Road in Independence Park where the sculpture will be mounted.

Usain Bolt & Statue

The Minister went to the Independence Park complex (which houses the National Stadium) to observe work on the pedestal on which the bronze statue — to the scale of one and quarter life size — will be mounted. Minister Grange said: “The base is now ready for mounting of the statue. The statue will be mounted and will be in place for Sunday, December 3.”

The statue — a lasting tribute to the world’s greatest sprinter — was due to be unveiled during Heritage Week in October, but the unveiling ceremony was postponed because of rain. Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, unveiled the statue in a special ceremony scheduled at 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.

The ceremony was be attended by several notable figures in local and international sports.

Statue of Usain Bolt

The sculpture was designed by renowned Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson. It is the first of four statues of national sports stars that were commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme. Watson is also working on sculptures of Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell. The Minister invited the public to attend the unveiling ceremony.

Immediately following the unveiling of the statue, there was a special Reception of Appreciation for Jamaican athletes (a private event). Minister Grange said the Reception was for members of the Jamaican team that participated at the IAAF World Championship in London earlier this year as well as for “our Olympians in general – just to say thank you for how they’ve represented Jamaica over the years and for being good ambassadors.”

Courtesy of JIS

The late Lowell Hawthorne. CEO of the Golden Krust Empire.

Over the past couple of days, the Jamaican & by extension the Caribbean Diaspora has been rocked by news of Golden Krust CEO Lowell Hawthorne committing suicide. Hawthorne through his empire has been seen as the pinnacle of success in the Jamaican, Caribbean and Immigrant communities. Here are some of the reports:

From the Jamaica Observer:

NEW YORK, USA — The founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill killed himself inside his Bronx factory yesterday, police sources said. Lowell Hawthorne, 57, shot himself inside the Park Avenue building about 5:30 pm, sources said.

More than a dozen current and former employees stood in disbelief outside the factory for hours.

Hawthorne opened the first Golden Krust store on E Gun Hill Road in 1989.

He built the Jamaica beef patty purveyor into a national empire boasting more than 120 restaurants across the US.

It also produces more than 50 million patties a year for retail stores, and supplies them to about 20,000 outlets.

“We believe in the power of the patty,” Hawthorne, a former winner of the Observer’s Business Leader Award, said in May.

Some of his employees said they suspected something was amiss when they spotted his car, a silver Tesla 85D, parked oddly outside the factory. It was left straddling two lanes.


From the New York Times:

Death of Jamaican Fast-Food Magnate Stuns Friends and Workers

Lowell Hawthorne used the flavors of his native Jamaica to build a fast-food empire from scratch in the United States.

But after 28 years as the president and chief executive of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Mr. Lowell fatally shot himself on Saturday, the police said.

The entrepreneur’s death sent shock waves through the Caribbean community in New York, where he was seen as an immigrant success story, and in Jamaica. And it stunned his family, friends and customers.

“Our hearts are broken, and we are struggling to process our grief over this tremendous loss,” the Golden Krust company said in a statement on Sunday. “Lowell was a visionary, entrepreneur, community champion, and above all a committed father, family man, friend and man of faith.”

The Bronx-based company, where Mr. Hawthorne had worked with his wife and four children, offered thanks to supporters, and said funeral arrangements would be announced at a later date.

FROM the New York Post.
Golden Krust CEO killed himself over tax debt, fears of probe

The founder of the Golden Krust Jamaican beef patty empire killed himself amid fears the feds were investigating him for evading millions of dollars in taxes, The Post has learned.

A family member told detectives that Lowell Hawthorne, 57, admitted the huge tax debt to some of his relatives, and was “acting funny” and “talking to himself” in the hours before his suicide, a law enforcement source said Sunday.

Surveillance video shows the meat-pie mogul shooting himself in the head at his office inside the Golden Krust bakery and warehouse in the Bronx, said the source, who was briefed on the NYPD investigation into the shooting.

Before the shooting, the video shows Hawthorne speaking with a pair of workers who left the room, both of whom were crouched down when they later returned to his office, sources said.

It was unclear if they saw Hawthorne kill himself, but one of them could be seen making a cellphone call, which a source said was to 911.

Hawthorne employed dozens of relatives at the business he started in 1989, and the source said he left a note in which he apologized to his family.

Hawthorne’s younger brother, Milton Hawthorne, 55, met cops who arrived at the Golden Krust plant at 3958 Park Ave. around 5:15 p.m. Saturday in response to a 911 call about an emotionally disturbed person armed with a gun, sources said.

Lowell, a married father of three sons and a daughter, was found on the floor of his office with a single bullet wound to his head and a handgun lying nearby, sources said.

The Jamaican immigrant started Golden Krust with a single fast-food eatery on East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx and opened 16 more across the city before launching a franchise operation in 1996.

The company now has more than 120 outlets in nine states, and sells its beef patties in more than 20,000 supermarkets, as well as to the city school system, state penal system and US military, according to a news release issued last year.

In August, Hawthorne was slapped with a proposed class-action suit alleging he cheated as many as 100-plus workers at the Golden Crust plant out of overtime pay.

The suit — fairly common in the food service industry — remains pending in Manhattan federal court.

Al Alston, who befriended Hawthorne 30 years ago when they were both NYPD accountants and now owns a Golden Krust franchise in Queens, called his suicide “more than unexpected — it’s out of character.”

“He was always an upbeat guy,” Alston said.

“We’ve been in a lot of tough jams and situations, but he was always a person who’d say, ‘We’ll get out of it.’ And we would get out of it.”

Alston said he last spoke to Hawthorne two weeks ago, adding: “He was so happy about [the recent birth of] his granddaughter.”

“All his boys are married now. He was talking about taking on a different role as a father, making his boys into husbands and fathers themselves,” Alston said.

Mourners gathered at Hawthorne’s home in Elmsford, with son Omar, Golden Krust’s director of franchise and community development, saying via email: “We are still grieving, and are not conducting any interviews at this time.”

During a brief news conference at the Golden Krust bakery, company spokesman and Hawthorne nephew Steven Clarke said widow Lorna Hawthorne was making funeral arrangements and it was unclear if there would be a public memorial service.

“Right now we’re still processing and trying to wrap our mind around this tragic loss,” he added.

Additional reporting by Daniel Prendergast, Reuven Fenton, Shari Logan and Tea Kvetenadze


Jamaica’s Usain Bolt 

USAIN BOLT to run his final race this Saturday in London at the IAAF World Championships.
Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Novlene Williams-Mills are representing the sprinting power house island for the final time. Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time, will give the greatest show in athletic history, one last time in London. 
Williams-Mills who not only had success at the highest level, but did this while being diagnosed with cancer is also doing her swan song performance.

Novlene Williams-Mills

More on Usain Bolt

Simply put, Usain Bolt is the best sprinter of all time. Thirteen individual gold medals, seven at world championships and six at the Olympic Games, are the stuff of legends. Add five individual world records, with four of them set in major finals, and his claim to a rare level of greatness becomes undeniable.

This exclusive excerpt from Usain Bolt: Legend looks at the fascinating numbers behind the honours listed above.

Fastest five

His compatriot Asafa Powell broke 10 seconds on 97 occasions having long overtaken the tally of 51 such races by American Maurice Greene. Bolt comes next with 49 sub-10 seconds.

As you might have guessed, the tall man from Trelawny is supreme at the sharp end of the list. He has 12 runs under 9.80 seconds, three of the fastest five and the two fastest of all, his world record of 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and his Olympic record 9.63 seconds from the 2012 final in London.

He shares the third fastest time – 9.69 seconds which was a world record when he ran it to win the 2008 Beijing Olympics – with Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake. His 9.69 seconds came in his fourth race in two days in Beijing, while Gay and Blake scored theirs in one-off races in Shanghai and Lausanne, respectively.

The average of Bolt’s 10 fastest 100m races is 9.73. Only Gay, Blake, Powell and Bolt himself have ever gone quicker than that.

Your benchmark

Although only two of his individual world records have come in the 200m, he is far better in this event than anyone else. He has broken 20 seconds 34 times, 10 clear of Namibia’s Frank Fredericks and 11 ahead of the American pair of superman Michael Johnson and Wallace Spearmon, who have 23 each.

If you grew up with the 1968 world record of 19.83 seconds by Tommie Smith as your benchmark, Bolt’s numbers will blow you away. He has run under 19.80 seconds 21 times, with 14 of those under 19.70 seconds. Nine of the 16 clockings under 19.60 seconds and four of the seven under 19.50 seconds were run by Bolt.

If that weren’t enough, he is the only athlete to have broken 20 seconds while still a junior athlete. He did it twice. The first one is the world junior record of 19.93 at the 2004 CARIFTA Games. That spellbinding run in Bermuda broke his tie with American Roy Martin, who had the old mark at 20.13 seconds.

Bolt’s top ten 200m times average out to 19.47 seconds. Other than the man himself, only Blake and Johnson have dipped under that threshold. It’s amazing.

Fast when it counts

It’s an understatement to say Bolt is good in big meets. From 2008 onwards, he has produced his best times of each season in major finals. Most of us remember his world records in Beijing in 2008 and in Berlin the following year, but he never stopped speeding.

Days after his shocking false start in the 100m at the 2011 World Championships, he stormed home in the 200m in 19.40 seconds, then the 4th fastest of all time. At the London Olympics, he pulled out his best runs of 2012 with the second fastest 100m of all time – 9.63 seconds – and a clocking of 19.32 seconds in the 200m despite an aching back.

His times have been more modest since. Still, at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics, his winning times have been his best efforts in all those seasons.

Which is Bolt’s better event?

Bolt has only two world records in the 200m compared to three in the 100m. His best times in each event are both brilliant – 9.58 seconds for the 100m and 19.19 seconds in the sprint once known as the ‘deuce’. The IAAF Comparison Tables, designed to help rank performances in different track and field events, provide a split decision. The 100m world record earns 1356 points while the 200m world mark gets 1351 points.

The tables turn when Bolt’s top 10 average times are put under the microscope. His 100m top ten average is 9.73 seconds and that collects 1301 points. The corresponding figure for the 200m – 19.47 – takes 1305 points from the IAAF Comparison Tables.

If you view the average as a measure of how fast he has been continuously, the 200m is just ahead.

That is confirmed by an analysis of his comparative win-loss records from 2008 onwards. You can count his 100m losses on one had with a finger to spare. Powell, Gay, Blake and Justin Gatlin are the elite group to have beaten him in the 100m, and none of them has done it twice. For the 200m, you only need one finger. His loss to Blake at the 2012 National Senior Championships is the only blemish on his competitive record in the period starting in 2008.

He did win his first major medal in the 200m, a silver behind Gay at the 2007 Worlds, but that was a year before he took up the 100m as a championship distance. Of course, he is the long-range favourite to bring his world 100m gold medal count up to four this year. Sadly, he is not planning to run the 200m.

Best of all time

It’s hard to compare athletics from different eras. The great Americans Jesse Owens and Bob Hayes raced at a time when professional careers in athletics weren’t common and so very few American men did more than one Olympics.

Owens came to fame when he set or equalled six world records in one day in 1935. That magnificent day of days contained a record-equalling run in the 100 yards and new marks in the 220 yards, long jump, the 220-yard low hurdles. When his great runs in the 220-yard races were converted to metres, he had touched two world records there as well. He won four gold medals to be the star of the 1936 Games, but couldn’t have gone to another Olympics even if he wanted. The Second World War forced the cancellation of the 1940 and 1944 Olympics.

Hayes, the dominant sprinter of the early sixties, concentrated on the 100m at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, won it in a world record time of 10.06 seconds, but then departed to a successful career in American football.

Carl Lewis won four gold medals at the 1984 Games and, like Owens, was a long jumper in addition to being a 100m and 200m sprinter. Bolt has always concentrated on the dashes.

Lewis, Greene and Bolt each have three world 100m titles, but Lewis won his in 1983, 1987 and 1991, with a world record of 9.86 seconds as the cherry topping on his hat-trick, when the world championships were held every four years. From then onward, athletes have had the opportunity to become world champion every two years. Greene won his 100m crowns in 1997, 1999, when he did the sprint double, and in 2001.

There is, nevertheless, a point of comparison which separates Bolt from the illustrious trio of Owens, Hayes and Lewis. The tall Jamaican won both his 2008 Olympic 100m and 200m gold medals in world record times. No other male sprinter has ever done that, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, there has never been a sprinter quite like Bolt.

Information courtesy of IAAF


Respect to Africans throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the world who fought against the holocaust of slavery. The fight led to the end of the evil system. Unfortunately the affects are still seen today and have evolved in different ways.


Jamaica defeated Canada 2-1  to advance to the semi-finals of the 2017 Gold Cup Football competition. In a game that was filled with energy and Jamaicans bringing a fast pace streaking to Balls at any opportunity, Jamaica won the entertaining match to advance.

Jamaica goalie Andre Blake did a magnificent job of keeping the northern rivals at bay. The Reggae Boyz got a great start when Shaun Francis (pictured above) received a perfect pass from Darren Mattocks to convert for the 1st goal. At the beginning of the 2nd half prolific scorer Romario Williams put Jamaica in a comfortable lead after Mattocks sent him a pass that he capitalized on and put Jamaica up by 2 goals.

Jamaican-Canadian Junior Hoilett scored a goal for Canada with 30 minutes remaining in the game. That gave Canada new energy as they stepped up the attacks. The Jamaican defense anchored by goalie Andre Blake would not allow any more goals.

Jamaica will face regional giant Mexico in the semifinal of the Football Gold Cup 2017 competition. Canada has been eliminated.

photo courtesy of ESPN FC